The Kerala State High Court has served notices to celebrities and athletes that have appeared linked to online gambling companies.
India.- A petition to the High Court in the state of Kerala could result in a new ban on online gambling in India.
The court has issued notices to the state government and to celebrities and athletes who have served as ambassadors for online gambling operators.
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, Malayalam actor Aju Varghese and South Indian actress Tamanna Bhatia have received the notices, The Hindu reported.
The plea entered in the court seeks to either ban or to regulate and monitor online gambling games with new laws that cover gaming using digital devices.
Plea to ban online gambling
Pauly Vadakkan, who introduced the plea, claimed that online gambling was “a growing menace” in the state and that those on low and middle incomes were suffering the most.
The petitioner said there had been reported scams involving online gaming in the state. He also referred to recent cases of suicides due to unpaid gambling debts.
He said gaming platforms endorsed by celebrities attracted audiences with false promises when the chances of winning were slim to none.
The petitioner said that the present law governing gaming activities in the state, the Kerala Gaming Act 1960, only covers gaming in a “common gaming house” not online activities.
States that took action on online gambling
In the plea, the petitioner noted that high courts in several other states in India had banned online gambling, mentioning the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
In Andhra Pradesh, an ordinance has been promulgated to bring online gambling activities within the purview of existing gaming legislation.